Hell's bells and little catfishes

Ron Silliman silliman at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 10 11:53:39 UTC 2006

We were discussing the phrase "Hell's bells" the other day and my wife grew
up with a longer variant, "Hell's bells and little catfishes." She grew up
in suburban Baltimore in the 1950s & '60s, her mother being from the
Ashville, NC, area, her father from the Hagerstown, MD, area. My guess is
that the phrase comes from her mother's side of the family, but I'm curious
as to whether it is strictly a family saying or extends further than that. I
couldn't find a single mention of the full phrase on Google.

Ron Silliman

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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